Thursday, November 18, 2004


Big Media Matt has a decent overview of the tax code change trial balloon. He concludes with:

As a word of advice to the Democrats, it would be best not to just get stuck defending the status quo and getting labeled as "against tax reform" while hoping that the media sorts out the details of this complicated boondoggle. Far better to devise a progressive, revenue-neutral, tax reform counterproposal, hopefully before Bush's planned commission is done spinning its wheels.

This is perhaps true, but it's also somewhat of a trap. The thing about "revenue neutral" changes to the tax code is that they necessarily raise some taxes and lower others. I'm quite sure that the primary mission of whatever commission is cobbled together by the Bushies will not to be to plot grand tax policy, but rather to find ways to add in a few gimmicky things they can use to come up with fake "representative" families who will miraculously find their taxes cut, and other propaganda gimmicks (mostly involving "small" business owners).

The problem with the Democrats having a plan is that it too will inevitably raise taxes on some people, and so coming out with a plan pre-emptively will allow Republicans to screech "Democrats want to raise your taxes!!!!"

So, yes, devise the plan... but introducing it first could be dangerous.